Miles Sanders Hints at Eagles Secret Weapon: ‘I Hope He Gets Activated’

Miles Sanders, Alshon Jeffery

Getty Eagles players Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard celebrate as Alshon Jeffery looks on.

The Eagles protected four players on their practice squad, including familiar face Jordan Howard. Their bruising starting running back from a year ago was brought in after Miami threw him on the scrap heap. Whether the Eagles elevate the 224-pounder to the active roster on Monday night remains to be seen but one teammate is rooting hard for that to happen.

Miles Sanders, the guy who sat behind Howard to start 2019, told reporters that he was “super excited” to hear the five-year veteran was coming back. Howard was no slouch during his first tour of duty in Philly, racking up 525 yards and seven total touchdowns before a shoulder stinger shut the one-time Pro Bowler down.

He has 3,928 career rushing yards from stints in Chicago, Philly and Miami. Sanders, aka “Lightning,” hopes Howard reprises his “Thunder” role against Seattle because the Eagles can “definitely use him.”

“I’m super excited, honestly, I’m real excited,” Sanders told reporters on Friday. “I love seeing guys that I started this off with, you know. Last year he was there the whole year helping me out, getting me better. I’m just happy he’s back and we can definitely use him. It’s going to make our running back room stronger and more complete and I’m excited. I hope he does get activated on Monday night.”

Howard was used sparingly in Miami, mostly as a goal-line vulture where he scored four rushing touchdowns on just 28 carries. It was an amicable parting of ways and now the Eagles hope to benefit from it. One of the main things Sanders credited Howard for helping him improve on was his blocking in pass protection.

“I was getting tips and advice from him last year,” Sanders said, “and as far as for pass pro and being disciplined on my inside zones and outside zones so he got me right with that and I’m just happy he’s back.”

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Travis Fulgham Polishing Routes, Tweaking Game

It’s been a disappointing two-game stretch for breakout receiver Travis Fulgham — two catches for 16 yards — but the former practice-squad standout isn’t discouraged. His dip in production was thought to be due to opponents accounting for him and throwing double teams his way.

While Fulgham admitted to seeing increased attention come his way, it hasn’t been that drastic. That’s not the reason for him falling off the cliff.

“I don’t think teams have adjusted that much, maybe a little more attention,” Fulgham said. “But I think the opportunity is still there to make plays.”

Instead, Fulgham is going back to the drawing board on the little things that put him in the spotlight. He’s been cleaning up his route running and making small tweaks to his game.

“Run routes more precise, switching it up,” Fulgham said. “Something I did in the older games, kind of tweak it a little bit, kind of throw ’em off a little bit.”

Another Head Coach Vote for Duce Staley

Former Eagles legend Brian Westbrook crowed in this space about Duce Staley’s readiness to be an NFL head coach. Unfortunately, Staley may have to wait for an opportunity since they are hard to come by for black coaches these days. That issue notwithstanding, Staley has earned the right to be a coveted name. He commands the locker room with authority and respect, plus he’s a real “leader of men.”

Sanders works directly with Staley every day since he oversees the running backs room. He didn’t hesitate when asked about his head-coaching candidacy.

Absolutely, yes,” Sanders said.

OK. Why?

“One, his passion and love for the game. I think every coach needs to have that,” Sanders said. “And the way he goes about everything. He holds everybody to a very, very high standard. He holds our running back room to a very, very high standard. The main reason why the team is going the way it’s going is he puts a lot of pressure on us — and seeing him as a head coach, I think he can do that for the whole team and get everyone’s mindset like that but I think he’ll make a helluva a head coach.”

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